Join us for A Retreat with Traditional Elders and Indigenous Wisdom Keepers

Retreat Lodging from $25 per night! 
Full 3 Days with meals  $495  ~ 1 Day with meals $195 
3 Nights Lodging:  $75/Quad, $135/Double (Singles available) 

Muscogee Green Corn Fast  

 A Time of Purification and Renewal



    Days of fasting, acts of courage and ceremony have prepared the way for this moment. White feathers fluttering in their caps, the two men serving as ceremonial "ground lenders" for this Muscogee Green Corn Fast near Okmulgee, Oklahoma, call the next group of lead dancers to circle the Mother Fire. 

     "Cenhomatetvt ponhecketonkv"!" they cry. ("Your leader we have found for you!")

     As the lead dancer takes his place by the Fire, the men, women and children of his family spiral around the center in single file behind him.  In silence, they begin walking. The leader starts a call and response song, to which the men answer. The leader changes his walk to a stomping gait, and one after the other those behind him join in.  

     It is past midnight under a July sky brimming with stars, the air almost cool after a short but intense late afternoon rain. This blessing of the Weather Beings, who have made their presence known two days in a row after six weeks of drought, does not go unnoticed by those attending. For the annual Green Corn Fast is a time of gratitude, when the first fruits of the land are paid in tribute to the Creator from whom all things come.

Read Inside
Muscogee Green Corn Fast
Work Study Opportunity
$100 Deposit - Register Now!
Sherry Boatright to speak
Words of the Elders
To Register

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     Mr. Sam Proctor, a respected Muscogee elder, culture bearer and descendant of the great Creek leader Opethleyahola, watches the proceedings. This Green Corn Dance is hosted by his family. His heart is warmed by the presence of the many young people participating in even the most demanding ritual aspects.  

     These Muscogee are determined to maintain their precious traditional ways as they raise children within the mainstream culture. Parents must help navigate the influence of media, cell phones and video games. Every year brings more challenge, because the last of the native speakers are dying, and those who remain feel the time running out.  

     "The last of the really olds ones, those in their 90s and even 100s, are gone," says Mr. Proctor. The native Muscogee language which describes relationships and values is absolutely vital to maintaining a way of life that promotes balance and harmony with family and strangers alike. 

      "We chastise the parents who are too harsh in disciplining the children here on the ceremonial grounds," one of the grandmothers confides. "We want the children to have positive thoughts about the time they spend here." 

     The Green Corn Fast is a time of celebration and also a time of purification and renewal, a time for righting the wrongs and settling the grievances of the past year, of moving forward with a clean slate for all people of the community.  

     During the annual ceremony, the central sacred fire is extinguished, its ashes added to a mound which grows over the years, marking the continuity of the relationship between the people and the land. The women ceremonially dance to clear the chaff of the previous year, and a new fire is lit. Its embers, and messages of practicing right and moral living, are shared with all the surrounding hearths.


     This evening's celebration builds as one at a time, each woman adds her stomping gait to the dance. The women wear rattles on their legs, precious sacred items. Most are made of carefully polished turtle shells attached to leather sheaths, others shine in an array of gleaming tin cans. 

     The sound crescendos. What follows is a magical sound, an echoed chorus of that Song which births the World anew time and time again. The cicadas join in. The bullfrogs add their voices. The glow of the flames lights the faces of the innermost dancers, their gratitude for the gifts of fire and community and proud tradition clearly expressed.  

     Other families and guests join in, find their place in the spiral. They, too, catch the rhythm of the Stomp Dance. And then--a sudden shift. It's time for walking, and silence. Then a new call rises, a new response, a new building of the sound of feet that says, "We are here. Notice us."  

     When the dancing ends with sunrise, the footsteps on the packed sandy soil will be left untouched, a testament to the sacrifice, the fasting, the bravery, the generous service which the people have demonstrated to their ancestors and to spirit. The dancers leave with the satisfaction of having offered their gift, a sacrifice that may bring blessings to their community and to these lands through the coming year. 

     The importance of ceremony for the well-being of community cannot be underestimated, even in these modern times.

     There is a relationship between people and the places where they live, between people and the foods they eat and waters they drink. For many people, this relationship is fuzzy, like a long-buried, uncertain memory. But in these times of rapid change, many people feel a deep longing to reconnect with the living earth. 

     One place where people can begin this reconnection is at the Ancient Wisdom Rising retreat this November 9-11 at the Lodge at Simpsonwood Conference Center in Norcross. Mr. Proctor will be one of the elders presenting his stories and traditional wisdom at the gathering, which is taking place on land that was historically under Muscogee protection before their forced removal to Oklahoma.

     "The Ancestors are still here," Mr. Proctor said on a recent visit to the Lodge, which is surrounded by 227 acres of woodlands along the Chattahoochee River. Mr. Proctor will welcome Ancient Wisdom Rising attendees to his ancestral homeland by hosting a Muscogee Social Fire and Dance on Thursday evening, November 8th. For more information and to reserve your spot, visit

    Mr. Proctor, the Muscogee (Creek) elder, will be joined by elders from the Aleut (Alaskan), Cherokee, Bon (Tibetan Buddhist), Dine' (Navajo), and West African (Dagara) traditions. 

     Plan now to attend this three-day retreat, where you'll experience ritual space and learn from highly respected traditional elders in a unique, intimate setting. Space is limited, so register early.  

Ancient Wisdom Rising is presented by Sacred Fire Foundation, whose mission is to restore balance by igniting a heart-centered way to relate to each other, our communities and the sacred world around us.
Work Study Opportunities

Ancient Wisdom Rising still has a few Work Study Opportunities available for people who are willing to offer service in exchange for a reduced attendance fee. Please view available positions online:  WORKSTUDY

Don't miss this retreat.  
Reserve your spot with a $100 deposit!
It's simple. Using your Credit Card or PayPal::
- Click here, or go to and select "register"
- Select   "Full 3-Day Retreat with Meals - Paying Deposit".
- Complete your full registration.
- When you get to the checkout page, you'll find the "Partial Payment" 
  option. Enter $100.
- Make sure to remember your account name and password, because
  you'll return to this site to pay the balance of your amount due. 
- That's all there is to it.  (To pay with a deposit by check, contact

A few things to note:
- Your reservation will not be final until all amounts are paid in full. Use the Register link on the AWR site to return and complete your payment.
- Accounts paid using the deposit and partial payment method will incur a service fee of approximately $5 with each payment made.
- Payment must be received in full by October 10, 2012 in order to guarantee your room reservation. Room reservations not fully paid by that date may be cancelled.
- Payments made with the deposit and partial payment method are subject to our cancellation and refund policy. After Sept. 7, your deposit is non refundable and other charges may apply.   

  The Lodge at Simpsonwood, location for AWR 2012

Please Donate to Support Our Work  
This gathering exists because people like you support our work. Please help us keep the ancient fires of tradition burning in today's world.


The Mountain
in Your Midst  
Long ignored or seen only as a rare and dramatic ancient magma protrusion in an otherwise rolling piedmont landscape, Stone Mountain has progressively become recognized as a special ceremonial location originally shared by the Creek, Cherokee and Yuchi people.

For eleven years Sherry Boatright, recognized and initiated as a weather worker by Nahua elder Don Lucio Campo of the central Mexican highlands, has performed a spring ceremony/ritual at Stone Mountain. She began this work when seeking a way to help with the devastating droughts taking place in Georgia for many years. Since 2002 a growing number of people participate each year in ceremony - making offerings, asking for rain and beneficial weather throughout the growing season. 

Join Sherry at Phoenix & Dragon Bookstore in Atlanta, Friday, September 14, 7pm, as she speaks about this work and her experience as a Firekeeper for the Sacred Fire Community and a Granicero in the Nahuatl tradition. She will lead participants in a drum journey to experience a deepening of their relationship with the living world.
Trip to Stone Mtn  
Deepen your experience in preparation for AWR 2012 with a pre-retreat trip to Stone Mountain, GA. Sherry Boatright will lead the trip Thursday, Nov. 8. A few seats remain for $85 ea. More info
Words of the Elders

Chief Oren Lyons, 
Faithkeeper for the Onondaga and one of the elders who attended the first AWR gathering in 2007, 
reminded the audience, 
"One arrow breaks easily but six bound together are much stronger."

"It was very eye, and mind-opening to engage with people who did not presume to know most of the answers. 
I sincerely wish that the bit I was able to share had at least as much of an influence on them as they had on me."

-K´┐Żawan Sangaa, Haida Elder
(Woodrow F. Morrison Jr.)

Special thanks to


Experience wisdom teachings.   Restore life's balance.    Return bearing gifts.

Ancient Wisdom Rising is presented by